Around 3,000 German farms closed as a result of the liquid egg contamination scare have now re-opened.
The contamination, which emerged last week, was a result of poultry feed containing toxic dioxins being sent to over 1,000 poultry and pig farms in Germany. The dioxin was discovered in late December and resulted in German authorities stopping around 4,700 farms in the country from selling their meat and eggs, although produce did reach as far as The Netherlands and the UK.
A spokesperson for Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, told just-food today (10 January) that 3,000 farms had re-opened over the weekend, although the rest remained under investigation.
“These remaining farms are not allowed to sell meat or dairy produce. The farms still need to be controlled and checked out,” the spokesperson said. “This is typical in Germany of the decisions made by the federal government. When they re-open will depend on how fast the investigation proceeds.”
Asked what effect the scare has had on businesses in Germany, the spokesperson said it was “still unclear at this stage”.
“We don’t have any figures on the damage to businesses as the 3,000 farms that re-opened did not need to destroy any animals. We will have to wait for the outcome,” the spokesperson said.
Some 136,000 potentially contaminated eggs were delivered to the Netherlands to produce egg products, around 14 tonnes of the liquid egg are believed to have been exported to the UK in processed products destined for human food.
UK retailer Tesco said today that it had withdrawn eight products as a “purely precautionary measure” including Tesco Caterpillar Cake, Coconut Sponge and its Party Tray Bake.
Sainsbury’s is also believed to have withdrawn some products, while a spokesperson for Morrisons confirmed it had taken “a small number” of products off its shelves that had potentially been affected.